Massachusetts Trooper Christopher Coscia was extremely close to his K-9 partner, Dante. When the dog had to be put down due to health reasons, Coscia penned a letter titled "One Last Ride" and posted it to his Facebook page. The letter has now gone viral, ensuring that many all over the world will remember the hard-working Dante.
"It was a cold snowy day, training was cancelled due to the snowstorm, and I was left with the unenviable task of when I should make the decision to put my partner of nearly nine years to sleep," Coscia began. "Dante was best described as a one-person dog, and as tough as he was for other people to get close to, our relationship never wavered."
According to Coscia, Dante was responsible for helping locate and recover more than 1,000 grams of Heroin, more than 8,600 grams of cocaine and more than $14,000,000 in cash. The dog worked incredibly hard but maintained a strong relationship with Coscia. Then, one day, Dante collapsed and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, which kept him from getting enough oxygen into his lungs. He began having seizures due to a lack of oxygen to the brain, and that's when Coscia knew what he had to do.
"The day came when it was time to take him to the vet for the inevitable. After more than 2,300 rides that we took together, the dog who had trouble making [it] out to the yard just feet away sat upright in his car for One Last Ride. It was a ride I had delayed for eight hours, just driving around with him as we did so many times, struggling with the decision to put him down. He sat upright, alert as ever, checking the perimeter, always on guard. How does the dog who can barely breathe remain upright and vigilant for so long?" Coscia asked.
"I write this story with tears in my eyes and flowing freely down my face," he wrote. "Dante is still somehow sitting upright watching me as I write about him, everyone once in a while sticking his head through the cage, letting me know things will be alright. Much as it does to me as I write this with every new thought and remembrance of my partner, each paragraph brings a new thought and anguish for me."
Dante's story has been shared over 4,000 times and has garnered over 7,000 "Likes" on Facebook. People from around the world have written to Coscia, offering prayers for him during his grieving period and sharing their own remembrances of beloved pets.